The Ruth House in Superior opened its overnight warming center to the homeless last week, and plans to continue during this week’s cold snap.
Chrissy Foster, program coordinator for Walking Victorious Ministries, said five to 10 people have used the warming center each night. The ministry’s new location at 632 Grand Ave. has the capacity to provide overnight shelter to as many as 50. It opens every night the temperature drops to 20 degrees or below.
Ruth House also serves as a drop-in center during the day, providing free programs and support for those working to overcome homelessness. People have access to a daily shower, can do a load of laundry and grab a cup of coffee. Volunteer staff provide help with resume writing, job search and applications, emergency and crisis navigation, GED tutoring and testing, and search for housing.
Since Ruth House moved to the new building in October, the number of people using the drop-in center has increased to as many as 30 per day.
“The numbers are going up. I’m ecstatic about it,” Foster said.
She attributed the jump in numbers to increased media attention and the connections the Ruth House has formed with other agencies in the area.
Community donations and volunteers keep the center running. The building itself was a gift.
“We just want to thank the community for all the support,” Foster said.
With the new building comes a need for more daytime volunteers — two or three on-site at a time to cover the larger space.
The warming center is open to men, women and children. The doors close at 10 p.m., but anyone seeking shelter after that time can call 218-409-3766 to alert volunteers they are coming.